As you may know, during the month of September, I am making over a selection of Martha Stewart's recipes to make them suitable for Altered Plates (my dietary restrictions). This lovely recipe comes from her legendary Baking Handbook. It's one of my favorite cookbooks for a number of reasons:
1. Loads of photos. 2. Great tips and advice. 3. Well-tested (and flexible) recipes. 4. Classic as well as uncommon recipes.
Martha's original recipe for Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins is not vegan, however it didn't take much to rework it to make it super-healthy and vegan. The resulting agave-sweetened muffin is excellent. I received high marks from friends who tried these today, just one day after baking. Right out of the oven (OK, about 20 minutes out of the oven), I couldn't resist trying one since they smelled and looked divine. I was not disappointed.
I could see plenty of green flecks from the fresh, organic zucchini as well as the oozing cranberries that had burst while baking. I could definitely taste the vanilla and nutmeg, while the tangy cranberries and rich, crunchy walnuts made these muffins worth munching.
You really can't ask for a more tender crumb. I'm going to blame it on the olive oil (which you can't taste at all in these, as well as the whole wheat pastry flour). Overall, I'd probably give these an A for sneaky healthiness in a truly tasty muffin.
I made a few changes not only to the ingredients, but also to the instructions. Please bear in mind that I doubled the recipe because I had to feed a room full of friendly faces. So here is my version. Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins (based somewhat loosely on Martha Stewart's recipe in her Baking Handbook ).
Makes 42 mini muffins and 12 regular-sized muffins.
3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 1/3 cups agave nectar 3/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups grated zucchini (I used 2 1/2 small ones) 1 cup frozen whole cranberries
1. Line all your muffin pans with nice paper liners. 2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If you're just making large muffins, set your oven to 345 degrees F. The mini muffins take much less time to bake, so the lower temperature helps prevent burning. 3. Sift together dry ingredients (except walnuts) into a large bowl with a lip or a very large measuring cup. 4. Fold in the walnuts making sure to mix them in well. They also help to better distribute all the dry ingredients. 5. In a separate, large bowl, mix together the agave nectar, olive oil, and vanilla until well blended. 6. With a big spoon or silicone spatula, mix in the zucchini. 7. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. 8. Fold in the cranberries for about a minute. 9. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out even amounts into your prepped mini muffin pans. Use a regular ice cream scoop for the large muffin pans. Your muffins will rise a bit, so make sure not to over-fill the cups. You're looking for about 3/4 full. 10. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pans and bake another 20 minutes, or until a bamboo tester comes out clean. 11. Let the muffins rest in their pans for 10 minutes, no more. Then remove them from the pans to cool completely on wire racks. 12. Break 'em open and enjoy!